Rock Around the Ring Road Tour

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ROCK AROUND THE RING ROAD

JULY 29 – AUGUST 15, 2017

TOUR

It is listed in Patricia Schultz’ book as one of the “1,000 Places to See Before You Die”. “It” is Iceland’s Route 1 aka The Ring Road, an 832 mile stretch of road which circumnavigates the nation passing by many of Iceland’s greatest natural treasures…boulder littered volcanic plains, elf cities, gushing waterfalls, sparkling glaciers, troll rocks….

Krummi Travel presents “Rock Around the Ring Road” a 17 day geological survey of this extraordinary highway with loads of surprises tucked in along the way and of course ample amounts of laughter and candy. Your Geologist on the journey is Tom Alena who led this very same trip in 2012 and 2015. Tom has an incomparable ability to make sense out of rocks. He is also a meteorologist and  that comes in quite handy in a country known for its erratic weather mood swings. Tom is warm, passionate, patient (he’ll need all he can muster) and fun! He is also a diminutive fellow so there is a good chance he won’t be eating a lot of candy. He also sleeps a good deal in the van which is great for incriminating photo ops and eating his portion of the candy.

Also on board for a portion of the trip is Johann Oli Hilmarsson.. Johann is Iceland’s most noted ornithologist and the author of “The Icelandic Bird Guide”, the Bible of all identification books. He is a gentle giant and eats a good deal of candy. He also plays drums and sings. You are going to love him! I do!

You will be meeting many other Icelandic friends along the way. None of this is your beeswax. Behave yourself and be surprised and don’t ask questions.

Fridrik Runar Gudmundsson is our Icelandic guide. I can’t even begin to describe what this man means to Krummi Travel. I have no doubt that Fridrik is Iceland’s greatest guide..He is so knowledgeable in all aspects on the country…culture, nature, and everything in between. He sings, tells stories, and makes remarks that will have you howling for days!  You will want to take him home with you but that is illegal.

PRICES & DATES

Price per person: Single Occupancy (when available): $9000
Price per person: Double Occupancy: $8200

Price includes roundtrip economy class flights from Boston, New York or Newark (based on $1000) to Keflavik, airport taxes, all ground transportation in Iceland, the services of an amazing Icelandic guide who will totally put up with your questions, jokes, pranks, and will return the favors in kind, accommodation for 16 nights at cozy hotels around the country MOST with private facilities, breakfast and dinner each day, some lunches, admission to museums, the Blue Lagoon, a super jeep trip to visit a glacier, and many other surprises which are none of your beeswax…

Not included: Transportation to and from Boston / New York / Newark, anything that has to do with your drinking habit, some lunches, and any extras (when available) like horseback riding, and gratuities for Fridrik and Tom at the end of the journey.

Departure from Boston: Saturday July 29, 2017. Returning Tuesday August 15, 2017.

ITINERARY

July 29 / 30 Day 1: Welcome to Iceland

Fly from Boston to Keflavik, Iceland on Icelandair. Upon arrival collect your bags .You may wish to hit the duty free shop for libations, as alcohol in Iceland is very expensive. NOTE: THE ALCOHOL YOU PURCHASE MUST BE CONSUMED IN YOUR ROOM OR OUTSIDE AND NOT IN THE DINING ROOM OR COMMON AREAS OF YOUR HOTELS Waiting outside will be the smiling face of Fridrik Runar Gudmundsson. He will be our guide while in Iceland. We’ll be whisked away for a lovely breakfast at a quaint fishing port in the cod capital of Iceland, Grindavik. It’s lava, lava, lava, unbelievable seascapes, geothermal fields, and so much more. We’ll wind our way along the coast and catch the Ring Road in Hveragerdi, the Green House town!. This day…as you are dozing off…will be spent tackling Iceland’s infamous Golden Circle (Gullfoss the Golden Falls, the historic and geologic wonder, Thingvellir (oh my God) and Geysir..the original Geyser after which all geysers are named!) We will ultimately end up at our first hotel for the next two nights…a charming farm hotel with many surprising residents.  A group dinner will end our first full day together. It will be a long day but you’ll be very very tired…er…happy!

July 31: Island Hopping

After an early breakfast at the hotel we’ll board the van making our way to a nearby port where we’ll hop on board for a full day of touring the Westmann Islands…actually..just one, the largest, Heimaey which was the setting for a magnificent eruption in 1973. This story is like no other! You’ll have an opportunity to hike up the volcano. On a clear day from its summit you’ll have a commanding view over the mainland. From this vantage point another very famous volcano / glacier, Eyjafjallajokull, can be seen (2010 eruption that crippled air traffic to Europe and back). You’ll visit the beautiful Pompeii-like museum. We’ll take a scenic drive, perhaps catching a glimpse of some puffins. Before our ferry ride back to the mainland we’ll dine at a remarkable restaurant.

August 1, 2 : The Beautiful South, Heavy on the Rocks!

Board the van after breakfast and prepare yourself for getting totally STONED! On our ride along the south coast we’ll be stopping at the Eyjafjallajokull visitor’s center to learn about the spectacular 2010 eruption. The next two days will be filled with volcanoes, glaciers, stunning rock formations, drop dead gorgeous waterfalls, columnar basalt, black sand beaches, and a super jeep ride which gets you up close and personal with the glacier Myrldasjokull! The south is a treasure trove of geological wonders. You will love our charming hotel.  We’ll occupy the whole damned thing! The owners are totally bad ass! Amazing rooms, lovely food. I can hardly wait to share this place with you.

August 3, 4: Glacial Ice Cubes, Deer!

After and early breakfast board the bus and head southeast to one of Iceland’s tourism Holy Grails, Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon. It is imperative that we get an early start to avoid the hoards of disgusting tour buses being disgorged from Reykjavik! This place can only be described as “A Fairy Tale”. The icebergs have been calved off of Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajokull. We’ll also wander the nearby beach; a graveyard for icebergs which have floated down Iceland’s shortest river to their final resting place on the shores of the icy North Atlantic.  During our stay in the area we’ll also visit Skatafell National Park, home to one of Iceland’s most beautiful waterfalls, Svartifoss. Our cozy hotel for the next two evenings is smack dab in the middle of reindeer country!

August 5, 6, 7: Dropping Out Down East!

After breakfast it’s on the road again as we leave the Ring Road to meander in and out of the East Fjords.. Stodvarfjordur is home to the quirky rock museum of Steinasfn Petru, collected by Petra Sveindottir and now displayed in her home. This is one of the world’s largest collections of rocks! Her children still live in the house, so as you take in this astonishing collection you’ll observe among the rocks and minerals family photos and other personal effects. It’s surreal and terribly wonderful! Ultimately we are ending up in one of my favorite places in all of Iceland. We’ll park the van and be taken by jeeps to our hotel, a remote farm house where you can indulge in some Iceland’s most spectacular nature, shared by some of the nicest people you will ever meet..and then there is the  FOOD!!! Ask former Krummi Travelers about their experience at Skalanes. These days of rest and relaxation will be one of the highlights of your trip!

August 8, 9, 10: Magical Myvatn

Board the van early as we have some major traveling to do! We’ll be heading for the Myvatn district, one of Iceland’s most geologically significant areas. Along the way you’ll traverse Iceland’s desolate north. We’ll stop by a spectacular geothermal area and take a peek at the Viti explosion crater and the Krafla volcanic area. Check into our very cozy hotel which is also is a functioning dairy. It is located on the shores of the lake. Dinner is at the hotel and the evening  is yours  to wander this unusual landscape..unlike any other in Iceland! The next morning you will board the van early and visit the beautiful turf museum at Grenjaðastaður. We’ll make a brief stop in the charming seaside town, Husavik. Husavik . We’ll visit some nifty fossils before heading to Ásbyrgi and the mighty Dettifoss. The horseshoe-shaped depression of Asbyrgi is part of the Jökulsárgljúfur National Park. For more than half of its length, the canyon is divided through the middle by the distinctive rock formation Eyjan (“the Island”), from which hikers may enjoy spectacular views. Down in the canyon, visitors walk through a woodland of birch and willow. Between 1947 and 1977, a number of foreign tree species were introduced, including fir, larch and pine. The small lake Botnstjörn is home to a variety of waterfowl species. Nicknamed “Sleipnir’s Footprint”, it is said that the canyon was formed when Odin‘s eight-legged horse, Sleipnir, touched one of its feet to the ground here. Legend also relates that the canyon is the capital city of the “hidden people” (huldufólk), who live in cracks within the surrounding cliffs. Dettifoss is the most powerful waterfall in Europe. You can actually stand at its edge! You will also see the waterfall Selfoss and the basalt canyon of the river Jökulsá.  Our last full day in Myvatn begins with a brisk hike up the largest tephra crater in the world, Hverfjall. We’ll hike to the troll-infested lava canyon, Dimmuborgir, take a dip in the Myvatn Nature Baths,  and visit one of the greatest natural history museums in the world…devoted to birds. The story behind this museum with tug at your heart.

August 11/ 12: Way Out West!

After an early breakfast at the hotel we’ll board the van and spend our day heading west. But first we shall make a pit stop at another of Iceland’s most glorious waterfalls, Godafoss and then make a pit stop in beautiful Akureyri, Iceland’s second largest city (population 17,500). Our destination is my favorite hotel in all of Iceland, Ensku Husin. This charming fishing lodge is set in a most spectacular area. You will have what little is left of your day to explore. Dinner will be at the hotel. Yummy yummy food and the nicest folks on the planet! Our next day will be spent visiting one of my best friends and her kids! The farm is called Haafell..the Icelandic Goat Farm and you will meet its dynamic owner, Johanna Bergman Thorvaldsdottir who has single-handedly saved the Icelandic Goat from extinction. We’ll also be visiting Hraunfossar…another spectacular waterfall and meet up with Pall of Husafell..an extraordinary man who is famous in Iceland as an artist but also as a musician who makes instruments from rhubarb and rock

August 13/ 14: Reykjavik

Today we head to the big city! Reykjavik is the northernmost world capital. It has about 180,000 residents…nearly two thirds of Iceland’s population! Check in at the hotel. Today is yours to explore this beautiful city, it’s charming museums, cafes, unusual shopping opportunities. Tonight we’ll be dining in the city within walking distance of our hotel. Our final day is a doozy. Wake up very early…at 8:00 am we’ll be soaking in the famous Blue Lagoon! This day will be spent enjoying the incomparable geosites of the Reykjanes Peninsula. Lunch is included today and this evening we’ll have a very special farewell dinner planned for you!

August 15: Homeward Bound!

Kids… we have an early flight! Don’t cry! Kiss our darling Fridrik goodbye. This has been an adventure of a lifetime! Our 10:30 am flight lands us in Boston at around noon. Remember to purchase hot dogs and raw legs of lamb and other things you never dreamed you could bring back into the USA! It’s all  because you have just visited the tidiest nation on earth! Takk fyrir!

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